Skip to main content

Helping Your Heart Online Manual

Skip section navigation


Eating a healthful diet is an important part of managing heart failure. A low-sodium diet can improve your heart failure.


The recommended sodium intake each day for an adult who has heart failure is 2,000 milligrams (mg).

An acceptable amount of sodium per serving is 140 mg or less.

Limit only one food a day with more than 400 mg of sodium per serving.

A high-sodium diet can be harmful when you have heart failure. The extra water in your body — due to the extra sodium — makes your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body.

One teaspoon of salt contains 2,400 milligrams of sodium. You should limit your sodium to 2,000 milligrams a day.

If you take medicine for high blood pressure, a low-sodium diet may allow the medicine to work better.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts